Best colleges in New York

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New York plays host to big dreamers at top-notch schools

New York is clearly a popular tourist destination, with everything from financial monuments to Broadway shows to explore. Going to college in the Big Apple provides you with plenty of options. Just one of the college systems offer 11 senior colleges, 7 community colleges, an honors college, and 5 graduate and professional schools throughout New York City. There are also 2 federal service academies. African-American Studies and Biology are two popular majors in New York, as well as the obvious Arts and Design. New York students go on to work at prestigious places like ABC, Goldman Sachs, and Simon & Schuster after graduation. and the starving artist persona is just a myth. Head out of the city to cities like Albany, Ithica, and Poughkeepsie for lower-than-average unemployment rates and less traffic.

Of course, in your non-academic hours, there are endless things to do in the Empire State. Take in a live show, peruse a museum or pay your respects at the 9/11 memorial. Go ice skating at Rockefeller Center, visit the Brooklyn Bridge, or get active in the NYC Marathon. Find a friend to share a sandwich at Carnegie Deli, learn the public transportation system, and pick up a new accent. Wherever you choose to spend your downtime, there is always plenty to do in the state that never stops moving, shaking, and learning.

Click Here to See the Best Colleges in the US*Bureau of Labor Statistics *www.highered.nysed.gov *Wikipedia, "List of colleges and universities in New York", "List of companies based in New York City" *www.nycgo.com

Best Four Year Universities in New York

Cornell University
Ithaca, NY

Cornell University is a private land-grant research university that was founded in 1865 in the suburban college town of Ithaca, New York by Andrew Dickson White and Ezra Cornell. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of about 15,000 students who attend classes on a campus that covers over 4,000 acres. Cornell is on a semester-based academic calendar with tuition and fees for both in-state students and out-of-state students that exceeds $55,000, though financial aid is available. 

Cornell University is made up of seven colleges and seven graduate divisions, including competitive hospitality and business programs. The school is known for its robust international network that is fostered in part by two satellite campuses in New York City and Education City, Qatar. 

Cornell University is part of the Ivy League and has affiliations with some of the top academic scholars of the last century. In addition to its strong scholastic traditions, the school is known for its Botanic Gardens and a large portfolio of university-owned and operated land in New York City. Notable alumni include Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, television star Bill Nye, and Christopher Reeve, who was known for being the first actor to play Superman.

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Columbia University was founded in 1754 and was known as King’s College through a royal charter from King George II before being renamed after the Revolutionary War. Columbia has a total undergraduate enrollment of about 30,000 and is located in a dense urban setting in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan just east of the Hudson River. The university boasts a low student-to-faculty ratio of 6:1 and charges a lower tuition rate than Ivy League counterparts Harvard and Yale. 

Columbia is at the scholastic epicenter of New York City and plays host to research institutions like the Goddard Institute for Space Studies and historic physics forums like the Manhattan Project. The school has a range of academic offerings for students to choose from through over 15 competitive colleges like the Mailman School of Public Health and the Columbia Climate School. Students at Columbia have the option to attend study-abroad programs at partner schools such as the London School of Economics, the University of Oxford, and Pantheon-Sorbonne University. 

Beyond academics, students at Columbia can enjoy iconic museums like the MOMA, take their lunch in Central Park, or head to Yankee Stadium. Notable alumni include former President Barack Obama, investor tycoon Warren Buffet, and writer Isaac Asimov. Columbia has an extensive alumni network that includes MLB Hall of Famers, Nobel Laureates, and Justices of the United States Supreme Court.

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University of Rochester
Rochester, NY

University of Rochester offers 283 degree programs. It's a large, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a midsize city. In 2020, 3,581 students graduated with students earning 1,660 Bachelor's degrees, 1,403 Master's degrees, 365 Doctoral degrees, and 153 Certificates.

New York University
New York, NY

New York University, or NYU, is a private university that was chartered in 1831 by the New York State Legislature in an effort led by Alber Gallatin, with a total undergraduate enrollment of just over 25,000. NYU is situated in an urban setting on a campus that takes up over 171 buildings in the vibrant city of New York. NYU receives the most applications of any private institution in the United States and can be very difficult to get into given the competition. The school’s colors are violet and white, which lends itself to their nickname “The Violets.” 

Located in the heart of Manhattan, NYU is made up of ten schools and prestigious programs including the nationally-ranked Stern School of Business and the Silver School of Social Work. Students take classes on a semester-based academic calendar and NYU tends to offer intimate undergraduate classes of 20 students or fewer, which can be perfect for students that prefer small group learning over the traditional large lecture format. 

NYU has produced many successful alumni, including current U.S. Senators, former Federal Reserve Chairmen, and even Academy Award winners. NYU’s urban location on Washington Square and Greenwich Village has been a cultural hub for over a century, with famous artists in residence including Edward Hopper and Bob Dylan. Noble alumni at NYU include film director Martin Scorsese, fashion icon Tom Ford, and former mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute offers 146 degree programs. It's a medium sized, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a small city. In 2020, 2,086 students graduated with students earning 1,569 Bachelor's degrees, 387 Master's degrees, and 130 Doctoral degrees.

Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY

Stony Brook University offers 277 degree programs. It's a very large, public, four-year university in a large suburb. In 2020, 7,376 students graduated with students earning 4,492 Bachelor's degrees, 2,032 Master's degrees, 539 Doctoral degrees, and 313 Certificates.

Binghamton University offers 205 degree programs. It's a large, public, four-year university in a midsize suburb. In 2020, 4,983 students graduated with students earning 3,523 Bachelor's degrees, 1,197 Master's degrees, 181 Doctoral degrees, and 82 Certificates.

CUNY Bernard M Baruch College offers 79 degree programs. It's a large, public, four-year university in a large city. In 2020, 4,918 students graduated with students earning 3,659 Bachelor's degrees, and 1,259 Master's degrees.

Fordham University
Bronx, NY

Fordham University offers 250 degree programs. It's a large, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2020, 5,479 students graduated with students earning 2,662 Master's degrees, 2,247 Bachelor's degrees, 513 Doctoral degrees, and 57 Certificates.

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry offers 55 degree programs. It's a small, public, four-year university in a midsize city. In 2020, 639 students graduated with students earning 483 Bachelor's degrees, 81 Master's degrees, 53 Associate's degrees, 20 Doctoral degrees, and 2 Certificates.

Best Community Colleges in New York

Erie Community College offers 104 degree programs. It's a medium sized, public, two-year college in a large city. In 2020, 1,892 students graduated with students earning 1,696 Associate's degrees, and 196 Certificates.

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List of all colleges in New York

School Average Tuition Student Teacher Ratio Enrolled Students
Cornell University Logo Cornell University Ithaca, NY
5/5
13 : 1 23,620
Columbia University in the City of New York Logo Columbia University in the City of New York New York, NY
5/5
19 : 1 30,135
University of Rochester Logo University of Rochester Rochester, NY
5/5
15 : 1 11,741
New York University Logo New York University New York, NY
5/5
17 : 1 52,775
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Logo Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, NY
5/5
18 : 1 7,501